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Moscow claims the capture of six villages in Ukraine

Photo: Stringer Agence France-Presse Three people died and nine were injured on Saturday in a Ukrainian strike on a restaurant in Donetsk, a city occupied by Moscow in the eponymous Ukrainian region, according to the occupation authorities.

France Media Agency to kyiv

Posted at 1:47 p.m.

  • Europe

Russia claimed Saturday the capture of six villages in eastern Ukraine, where hundreds of people were evacuated from areas close to the Russian border.

Russian forces, pushed back almost two years ago from this area of ​​northeastern Ukraine, have recently made a series of small advances against the Ukrainian army, short of recruits and weapons.

In the latest development, the Russian Defense Ministry said its troops had “liberated” the Ukrainian villages of Borisivka, Ogirtseve, Pletenivka, Pylna and Strilecha in the Kharkiv region, near the border with Russia, as well as the village of Keramik in the Donetsk region, further south.

Ukrainian authorities said the country's forces were resisting but that the Kharkiv region was the prey of violent fighting near the border.

“The fighting for the villages… continues in the border area,” military spokesman Nazar Voloshin told state television.

Ukrainian side , “1,775 people have been evacuated,” said the region's governor, Oleg Synegoubov, adding that Russia had fired artillery and mortars on 30 localities in the area over the past 24 hours.< /p>

He assured that there was “no threat of a Russian ground operation” towards the city of Kharkiv, the second largest in the country.

Two men aged 50 and 48 were killed and two others injured by an aerial bomb attack in Vovchansk, near the border, the governor said.

On the way out of Kharkiv, evacuees, many of them elderly, arrived in cars and vans, loaded with as much belongings as possible, at an evacuation point. Evacuees are registered and given food, while medical assistance is provided in makeshift tents.

Liubov Nikolayeva, 61, told the AFP having fled his border village of Lyptsi with his 81-year-old mother. “It’s impossible to live there,” she said, adding that her family stayed “until the last moment.”

“The fire enemy is constant, guided aerial bombs and mortar shells whizzing overhead. It became very scary,” according to her.

“Take back the initiative”

< p>An aid worker helping to evacuate residents, Dmytro Tkachenko, 37, said “the situation is really tough, difficult, in the Vovchansk and Lyptsi directions.”

“There are [troop] movements and right now it's really making it difficult to evacuate these areas because it's really dangerous,” he added.

The Kharkiv region had been essentially under Ukrainian control since September 2022.

“We must interrupt Russian offensive operations and regain the initiative,” said launched Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, once again calling on his allies to speed up arms deliveries.

“Every air defense system, every anti-missile system is literally what saves lives,” Zelensky said.

A senior Ukrainian military source said Russian forces were trying to “create a buffer zone” in the Kharkiv region and neighboring Sumy to prevent attacks on Russian territory.

Ukrainian forces have increased strikes inside Russia and in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, particularly against energy infrastructure.

On Saturday, authorities installed by Moscow in the Lugansk region, occupied by Russia in eastern Ukraine, announced the death of three people in a Ukrainian attack, carried out with American-made missiles , on an oil depot.

Governor Leonid Pasechnik said the strike had “enveloped the oil depot in flames and damaged surrounding houses.” “The death toll stands at three and eight other people are hospitalized,” he said on social media.

Three people also died and nine were injured on Saturday in a Ukrainian strike on a restaurant in Donetsk, a city occupied by Moscow in the eponymous Ukrainian region, according to the occupation authorities.

< p>In Russia, media reported two people killed by Ukrainian strikes in the Belgorod and Kursk regions.

“Not a big offensive”

For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been warning that Moscow could try to attack the northeastern regions, pushing its advantage, so that Ukraine faces delays in Western aid and a shortage of fighters.

The Ukrainian military said that “reserve units have been deployed to strengthen the defense in this area of ​​the front.”

According to military expert Olivier Kempf, of the Foundation for Strategic Research, “what we have seen over the past 24 hours is something limited”, with “a small artillery preparation and not a large concentration of troops behind it”. .

After the attack began, Washington announced on Friday new military aid of $400 million to “provide assistance to Ukraine,” while the Russian offensive will “intensify,” White House says.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116